Bermuda Fables

"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." – Charles De Gaulle

Guns are the new knives?? November 15, 2010

Filed under: Bermuda Politics — alsys @ 11:44 pm

There has been a marked increase in violent crime in Bermuda, with the prevalence of gun crime being the most obvious increase. Gang “warfare” is the easiest example of this but in recent months the use of gun in commonplace crimes has increased exponentially. Not that any crime against another person should be considered commonplace but there are always degrees, init? Hearing stories of gang members shooting at each other is almost a non-event nowadays (which is an unfortunate statement in and of itself). But to hear of robberies and muggings where the assailant is armed with a gun as opposed to a knife? Yup, that’s still is a bit of a shocker. I mean, these categories of crimes are by definition crimes of chance. So that means we now have “random” people walking around with guns just in case. Which can also be taken to mean, that contrary to the official line, there are a helluva lot more guns on the streets than we originally thought. Yeah, I know, scary. Even scarier is realizing in a very real way that, unlike the gang fighting, this brings the gun scrounge to everyman Bermuda.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve had reports of women, young girls, taxi drivers and others being held up and robbed at gunpoint. Yes, “young girls” was not a typo. This is definitely a new Bermuda in ALL the completely wrong ways. This is progress? How is it that as the more the world around us gets smaller and more connected, we are actually getting less civilized? And how do we stem this tide of lawlessness? Is the answer a return to community values of old, changes to policing methods, changes to legislation, all of the above? If so, how much of the change we need is dependant on each part of the whole?

There is a saying I love. Not sure who it’s attributable to but it goes, “You must become the change you wish to see” or something like that. I think in that one line, we find an answer to these and many other issues on our small, insular island. The solutions are in each and every one of us.

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Boy Scouts Motto is more than just a kid’s saying November 7, 2009

Filed under: Bermuda Politics — alsys @ 8:11 am

So, two days ago the BDA launched. No, Bermuda hasn’t created a method by which to propel our tiny island into the air, however cool that sounds. No, the “third party” option in Bermuda has come out, the Bermuda Democratic Alliance. They held a short but sweet press conference on the 5th of November on the steps of the Assembly. As the Throne Speech and the reconvening of Parliament was the 6th, I’m guessing they meant to make sure that they were considered a cohesive Party before they sent their three MPS back into the lions den, namely Mark Pettingill, Donte Hunt and Shawn Crockwell. Shawn was chosen to read out their carefully crafted statement – which some may take to lend credence to Laverne Furbert’s prediction, or more to the point deriding, of the as yet unnamed party at the time as the Crockwell Party. I say carefully crafted because to my uneducated (in this stuff) eye, it seemed to rely less on substance and facts and more on flowery statements. My own opinion. Judge for yourself on the RG website. Or on their facebook page (up to over 600 members at last count, an impressive showing to be sure) and/or their website http://www.thealliance.bm . They’ve manage to populate both places with more of the flowery statements and feel good catchphrases with no real tangibles, designed I’m guessing to cast the widest net, ie, focusing of electability more than having the courage to stand up and truly be counted on their own merits. Which I’m not sure what those are. The only mention of really anyone outside the ex-UBP Rebel 6 was in the newspaper article a DAY after their release. I like their logo, mind… it reminds me of something… or perhaps an amalgamation of two such somethings…lol.

 

(As an aside, can we in Bermuda politics, stop using “Obama-like” et al  in phrases and rhetoric? I get what you mean, I mean, who wouldn’t want to be the first Black president of a country that has that many harmful racial undercurrents by garnering a significant portion of the white vote and do it all by superficially, for the most part, pulling together people of all colours and creeds in the noble concept of change… Never mind if said change has yet to manifest itself in any real way, yet. It probably will happen. In time. But I obviously, and probably enjoyably only to me, digress.)

 

Their site has no platform, preliminary or no, no constitution (like seriously??) and nothing on any of the members. I’ll admit it, I was disappointed – I expected more from these guys. Let me rephrase, I had hoped for more. Whoda thunk it, something in Bermuda politics that disappoints me, lol. Then I actually got kinda pissed off. Now, this, as many things that happen in Bermuda and rightly so, led to a vigorous discussion on BIAW, a thread named after them. I’d like to say I was on the side of reason but I have met me and it is more likely I was simply being ornery. But anyway, I was on the side of demanding more from my “third option” than what they had thus far shown. A poster, whom is a member of the BDA, Full Fullish, was kind enough to engage us in trying to state the BDA’s case. What it comes down to is that they launched without a platform because they are want to be the Government that is shaped purely by the people. Emphasize on the word purely. Now this on the surface and in a idealistic way sounds amazing. Slightly socialist but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, all it has made me think (and judging from some comments even on their facebook page), okay cool but seriously, what do you stand for?

 

The PLP blog has already come out guns blazing and “defined” the party as “the old UBP in new sheep’s clothing”, an immature statement to be sure but not one that won’t manage to grab a following. Well, why wouldn’t they? If you fail to define yourself in any real and tangible way, you run the risk of having those who seek to undermine you, define you. Or as the old PLP chairman stated in the RG, define your enemy.

 

I want to know what this new party stands for, why I should believe in and thus lend my support to them, hell, who they actually and officially are! You don’t want to have a set in stone platform because you want to represent all Bermuda. Cool, that’s a noble cause. But unless you are planning on sitting down with every single bermudian as well as interviewing all expats (them’s people too!) – which would take much longer than even I have patience for and is entirely unproductive – you won’t represent all. Really, that’s not even the purpose of governments. Democracy entails the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Doing this I won’t show you mine, til you show me yours smacks too much of hedging your bets. That’s a little too mercenary for me.

 

Now, reading over my comments above I really need to qualify something. I’m not blasting them, per se. I do wish these guys all the luck. Being an ex-PLP member, I would love for them to be all that I and my Bermuda needs. And they very well may be. But I have no clue as yet because they refuse to define themselves, to stand up and be counted, to simply tell me what it is they believe in. I just require something more than what they have shown thus far. Sorry but cynicism caused by hours of poring over the internet in a political mind frame and spending too much time in forums arguing and quite failing to convince people of my POV has made me question everything. Well, not convince really, I just like to hear myself speak, truth be told. I know my opinion will not be popular but I am going out on a limb.

 

An open message to the BDA, show me what you stand for. Give me something that definitively states you are the better option, that the people that you pull together (like minded individuals) WILL actually represent me. I don’t know that yet cause I haven’t any idea what it is is y’all think. Please don’t expect that by simply being not PLP and not UBP, you automatically should get my support. You need time to solidify, cool, but please don’t take too long. My attention span is very short…

 

 

 

 

Protest? Not according to the media… June 17, 2009

Filed under: Bermuda Politics — alsys @ 2:08 am

I went to the protest today. I stood up and was proud to be counted… literally. Unofficial numbers state that the Anti-Brown protest (of which I was a proud member) was over 2000. The Pro-Brown counter protest (?) numbered at 44. Standing in the hot sun beating down on us surrounded by my friends and my countrymen of all walks of life and all racial, social and political backgrounds was beyond surreal. And it felt good to see the unity. We marched from the House of Assembly to the Cabinet House to have Janice Battersbee, the organizer of the rally/protest, deliver a statement. The premier came out and said a bit about the goodness of democracy and some other stuff. It was very hard to hear him over the shouts of “Brown Must Go” and the singing of the “Nanana, Goodbye” song. Then Janice spoke and he stood in front of her listening, well, somewhat intently. She made some real good points and I seriously have to give her props for what was probably an extremely nerve racking experience that she managed to make look easy. The conviction in her voice was definitely heartening. You’ll see more indepth coverage on other sites online, as I saw many people taking video of the event and wirelessing blogging during the event. I myself just was so impressed with the atmosphere. I saw two slight altercations, one right next to me between Zane DeSilva and an obviously irate Anti-Brown protester but that was a heated exchange at worst. What really got my goat was the fact that the premier after hearing Janice’s statement walked away!. That’s it. No reponse, no rebuttal, no respect. Just walked away. I don’t know exactly how to express how horrible that was. It shocked the crap out of me, and I spent the walk back to work talking to a mate mostly about that. I just kept saying, how could he just leave, does he have that little respect for the thousands of people who can out to make themselves heard?!? As a PLP member, and as a person who until very recently had copious respect for Dr. Brown and who honestly believed that he was the best man for the job… well, to tell the truth, it kinda hurt. But I went back to work and got back to the process of doing my job. I came home, blogged a bit about it and waited patiently to watch the news. I was excited to see what, for me personally, was the first time I can remember bermudians coming together over anything. We are known for our laissez-fair attitudes so this was like a breath of fresh air. I will admit that I did listen to the Hott news report in the car on the way home and was a bit shocked to see how the on-air personality had managed to boil the whole protest down to a race thing. Again. But then, it’s a pro-PLP radio station and one that’s not known for its… um, balanced viewpoint so I didn’t really pay much attention to that. Guess I should have.

 

 

So I settle down to watch the news, VSB. Can I just say, I have a sneaky suspicion that I was at a totally different protest that the one attended by the majority of those interviewed. Which were majority of the supporters of Brown – how those numbers worked out, I have NO freaking clue! I mean, 50 to 1 at modest estimate but out of ten interviews eight were pro-Brown? I didn’t see ZBM but have been told that it was the same there. And the Bermuda Sun didn’t even report anything… which wouldn’t have surprised me cause they are usually slow to update their website except for the fact that they posted a story about a Tall Ship that has dropped out of the race today. WTF? So what happened? I can’t claim to know but i’m one of many many people trying to figure out what the hell just happened. In one fell swoop the local media has managed to devalue what thousands of bermudians came out to say. That Dr. Brown has abused his position for the last time and that we are refusing to stand by and watch his unequivocally autocratic method of governing continue. Let me make this clear, this protest for most (I can’t say all) was not to do with the Uighurs in and of themselves, not to do with the PLP – it was about Premier Brown. And it certainly wasn’t a racial thing like Hott and VSB tried to tell me today. I’ll admit that the majority was white but by no means were black people unrepresented. I stood next to two white guys on one side, who stood nodding, and two black young women on my other side, proudly holding placards and saying uh huh at every junction. In fact, conservatively i’d say one third was black… and when you consider tis was all put together over little more than a weekend? Absolutely amazing. And I refuse to allow these guys to take that away from us.

 

 

Hear me now, you can’t steal this from us. I will not allow you to steal this from us. We stood up and we were counted. And we will continue to do so until you really listen. Don’t pay lip service, listen. And hear.